understanding your medical insurance policy

3 Tips To Keep In Mind As You Select Medicare Supplement Plans During The Open Enrollment Period

by Peppi Halko

Once a year, you have the opportunity to make changes to your Medicare coverage. One of the best ways to fill any coverage gaps in your regular Medicare coverage is by purchasing a Medicare supplement plan, which is also often referred to as a Medigap plan.

During the open enrollment period, you can adjust the supplement plan that you are enrolled in. This opportunity is so that you can adjust your coverage to meet your current needs.

Review the Medical Care You Needed Over the Past Year

To determine what type of plan you will need for the following year, it is helpful to review the kind of medical care that you needed over the past year. Get together a list of all your medications, and if you have one, a list of all the doctors and visits you had related to your healthcare over the past year.

Look at your medical care and note if you saw any particular specialist regularly and any unique medical needs you will need to take care of in the upcoming year.

This information will help you choose a plan that will allow you to continue to get the medical care you need or that will allow you to see a specialist or get particular treatment that you might not have coverage for right now.

Review Your Annual Notice of Change

Don't assume that because your current insurance plan took care of your needs last year, that it will take care of your needs again this year. Usually, around the end of September, your insurance will send out an annual notice of the change.

This document will let you know about any costs and coverage changes in the coming year. Review this document, pay special attention to the charges for any medication you take, and see if the co-pays will change. If the notice of changes impacts you, you may want to consider different coverage.

Start Comparing Plans

Once you know what your medical needs will most likely be for the following year, and you know what changes your current supplement plan will make in the upcoming year, it is time to start comparing plans.

Medicare has tools, such as the Plan Finder, that allow you to easily see what plans are available to you based on where you live. The Plan Finder will also allow you to compare different elements of plans, such as the cost.

When you compare plans, first look for plans that will provide you with the health care coverage you need. Then, once you have found the plans that will take care of your medical needs, start by looking at the cost, and find a plan that is affordable for your budget.

When it comes to taking care of your medical needs, use the Medicare open enrollment period to review your coverage and health needs, and make sure your Medicare supplement plan meets those needs.